UPDATE: Friends of the Earth have a petition out to stop the government from forcing fracking on communities, read more about it and add your signature here
Fracking is deeply unpopular, but the government seems determined that minor details like local democracy cannot be an obstacle to the industry. Today's ministerial statement by Greg Clark,Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government makes that clear.
Two consultations have been announced:
1. 'On the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate'.
2. 'On the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.' [i.e. decided by central government alone]